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Thiago Silva tried to persuade Neymar to join PSG

Silva tried to convince Neymar to leave Barcelona for PSG in January, and insists that he would prefer to have Neymar in his team than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has revealed to Le Parisien that he tried to persuade his Brazil international teammate Neymar to join the French club in January.

The wealthy French champions have been linked with moves for star players such as the Brazilian striker and Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of this summer's transfer window as they look to become a leading name on the European stage as well as domestically.

However, the 31-year-old Brazil international has a clear preference between the two and has tipped his compatriot to become the world's best player in the near future.

Silva told Le Parisien: "It's a difficult choice - can we take both? Seriously, they are two world-class players. Yes [I would prefer Neymar] because I'm Brazilian. I'm like his big brother.

"We spoke a bit during the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich [in January]. I said to him: 'Come to play in Paris with me.' He laughed a bit, but he didn't react. He said: 'We'll see, we'll continue as we are, and at the end of the season you'll know what I'm going to do.'

"Neymar is 24 and is already at the top. I think that next year or the year after he will be the best player in the world if [Lionel] Messi gives up his place."

Former Santos striker Neymar has scored 76 goals in 122 games for the Catalan club since leaving his native country in 2013 and has formed a formidable attacking trio alongside Messi and Luis Suarez.

The 24-year-old Brazil captain, who is already his country's fifth-highest scorer in history with 46 goals from 69 international appearances, came third in last month's Ballon d'Or award behind Messi and Ronaldo.

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